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It’s been an excruciating wait but the 100 is back and we are so ready to see the next chapter of this story unravel. At the beginning of the series, there were only the hundred kids sent to the ground in the hopes that humanity would be able to survive. Two seasons later, the hundred have dwindled down to a few dozen kids but their world has expanded. After staving off threats from the Grounders, the Mountain Men, and from their own numbers, our group of kids are nothing if not survivors and now we get to see the costs of survival play out.

(MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW!)

John Murphy and the City of Light

The premiere episode opens with where we last saw Murphy, who had the luck of finding a cushy bunker with supplies and a big screen television that started to play a video suicide note from a man who we assumed started the end of the world. After the video plays, Murphy finds himself trapped in the bunker with no way out. The opening scene is a montage of Murphy’s desperate attempts to break out of the bunker and his total breakdown after finding that he can’t escape. As much as I didn’t like the journey to the City of Light storyline in the last season, this was a clever way to jump forward in time and Richard Harmon plays Murphy’s descent into madness amazingly well.

Turns out that Jaha, who had been working under the mysterious A.L.I.E, the AI that the mysterious man in Murphy’s video was talking about, had Murphy locked in the bunker for three months. Jaha and A.L.I.E. were last seen with a nuclear warhead that’s being used for power. But to power what, we don’t know. Murphy sure didn’t want anything to do with it until he sees Emori (the Grounder girl he had a crush on last season until she betrayed him and left him for dead). Ah, teenage hormones.

The Sky People at Arkadia

What was once Camp Jaha is now Arkadia, the Sky People’s growing and thriving home away from space. Bellamy is leading his squad to map out some of the outer territories and before they head out for their next expedition, he has a talk with Lincoln and presents him with a guardsmen jacket. It’s great to see how much Bellamy has grown throughout the series but I didn’t really get the stark difference until he gives Lincoln and the rest of the combat trainees a talk about how the jacket symbolized something bad for them when they were on the Ark. The speech is very similar to a lot of the stupid speeches he gave when they first landed. Back then, it was a bunch of crap spewed to save himself from the Ark. Now, it’s to inspire his people to protect the Ark survivors. Bellamy even has a rapport with Kane, consulting him and obeying Kane’s orders before heading out. It’s amazing to see how far he’s come but as Kane points out, it’s still a work in progress.

On the other side of things, Raven and Jasper aren’t doing so well. After getting shot in the spleen and being on a dam as it was being blown up, Raven’s leg and hips are causing her a good deal of pain but she goes through great lengths to keep that hidden. Still, she can’t keep everything hidden, especially from Abby. Jasper on the other hand, has spent three months in a constant drunk stupor after seeing his friends massacre an entire clan of people, including his girlfriend Maya. Monty convinces Bellamy to bring a drunken Jasper along for the scouting mission (does that not scream BIG MISTAKE?) and he agrees. Road trip!

The gang, which includes Bellamy, Monty, Jasper, Raven, Miller, and Octavia, head out to Sector 7, a dangerous part of the map because it borders Ice Nation territory. Things begin to go awry when they pick up on a signal from another Ark station that comes from the Ice Nation. Because it’s Farm Station and Monty’s family and Miller’s boyfriend are from there, Bellamy agrees to search for them. Turns out a couple of Ice Nation scouts had the beacon signal on their persons. Octavia tries to get information but the scouts are only interested in finding someone called “Wanheda.” Jasper then makes the situation worse for everyone by approaching the already hostile Grounders and taking the beacon from them. The confrontation ends with Octavia and the others utterly slaying the group of Ice Nation scouts, thereby breaking the ceasefire between the Sky People and the Grounder coalition. Way to go Jasper.

Before they can suffer the consequences, Kane calls Bellamy to meet him and Indra, the chief of TonDC. Indra tells them that Clarke is in danger and that everybody is hunting her because they believe her to be the “Wanheda,” or the Commander of Death. Indra reveals that her people believe that when you kill someone, you absorb their power and that means that killing Clarke would grant that person command over death itself.

Clarke vs. the World

After being missing for half of the episode, we finally get to see Clarke and she’s totally badass. Her first scene has her taking down a panther all by herself. She’s clearly still suffering from her actions back on the mountain and when she makes it back to the trading post, it’s clear that she’s aware that there’s a bounty on her head. Her hair is different and she’s covered in layers of filth and wounds. Clarke even speaks Grounder language, or Trigedasleng. But Clarke isn’t completely alone, upon reaching the trading post, we find that she and the trader’s daughter Niylah, are acquaintances. Niylah proves herself to be someone to trust after she lies to bounty hunters to save Clarke, revealing that she’s known who Clarke was the entire time. Seeing as the episode ends with Clarke getting taken away by the same bounty hunters, it’s clear that Niylah isn’t the best liar.

Verdict: This episode was a slow build compared to last season’s premier but I think it was definitely needed. There are so many threads introduced from the brewing conflict between the Ice Nation and the Coalition to A.L.I.E’s origins and future plans for the world. Clarke, Jasper, and Raven are all suffering from the events at Mt. Weather and the ways in which the series shows how they cope are incredibly done. The world of the 100 just keeps getting bigger and bigger and while I’m not sure I’m emotionally ready to see how it all plays out, I’m excited all the same. BRING ON THE EMOTIONAL PAIN, THE 100.

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